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Loving Without Losing Yourself
By Allie Ochs, Relationship Expert, Coach
Reprinted with permission.
You are in love and this time it is different. You are
prepared to do anything to make it last. To prevent this ship from sinking you
work hard to steer this relationship into a safe harbor. In the process you
lose yourself and your romantic relationship becomes all-consuming!
Kyra fell head-over-heels for Dan and went out of her way
to create a wonderful relationship. She
found herself at hockey games, at parties with his friends and on vacations
with his family. At home, things were
not much different. Kyra cooked his
favorite meals, kept house the way he wanted and listened to music of his
choice. On Dan's advice, she cut her
hair short, wore less make-up and a conservative wardrobe. For Dan, this relationship was perfect. She
had adapted to his lifestyle, defended his views and even began to talk like
him. Kyra's friends witnessed her change
from a spirited and happy woman to a subdued and pleasing personality. This relationship had sucked the life out of
Kyra, yet she was the last to notice.
While compromise in a relationship is necessary, denying
the core of who you are is not. When you finally realize that an all-consuming relationship is depleting you, there will
be nothing left but resentment. It will
be difficult to reclaim yourself while remaining in that same
relationship. The outcome of such a
relationship is usually a heart-breaking crisis, with no one but you to blame.
The opposite of an all-consuming relationship is a
half-hearted relationship. In this
relationship one or both withhold affection until the evidence is in that the
other is hooked. I love you, if you love
me first has become a Fearing that you will give more love than you
receive, you put your partner on probation. You judge according to your
expectations and keep track of his or her scores. The higher the scores, the more you are
willing to love. This conditional view
creates tremendous emotional insecurity.
All-consuming or halfhearted relationships are unhealthy and
both types are guided by fear. In an
all-consuming relationship, fear of not being loved is the driving force. In a halfhearted relationship, fear of being
hurt prevents you from knocking down protective walls. To you love
wholeheartedly without losing yourself requires a very different perspective of
relationships. Even though you know that
relationships require work, deep down you cling to a sweet illusion that
meeting the right person is all it takes. You will then take off on your magic carpet ride. Think again! Soon that magic rug will be
pulled from underneath you.
If you long for a partner who is wholeheartedly behind
you, ask yourself, are you the same partner? Do you give what you seek in your relationship? Ironically, many lack the qualities they seek
in their partners. Listen to your heart
and when it feels right, feel the fear and love anyway. Love without hesitation and with all you
heart. Don?t let your fear of rejection
or getting hurt kill your desires or steal your dreams. You may have stared in the face of love
before. Maybe you ?chickened-out. Next time, don?t be a chicken!
Love is choice and if you choose it wholeheartedly, you
are never going to lose it. Love teaches
you to become a better human being. Restore your faith in love and become emotionally available to each
other. Put your fears and your past
behind you. Become lovable by being loving. Learn to trust by trusting yourself. Here is the number one reason for losing yourself in a relationship: Your
belief that love is something you either deserve or not! This misguided belief leads you to do almost
anything to get love and even more to hold onto it:
- You modify your identity to gain
approval from your partner.
- You hold back intimacy to protect
- You have a need to manipulate your
If you can believe that there is nothing you have to be
or do to earn love, you will accept that:
- You can be loved even if you are
- You can be loved while keeping
your course in life
- You can be loved without getting
lost in love
Love is the most powerful human lesson you will ever
learn. It is a purposeful
interdependence through which you become so much more than on your own. Love is not something to be found, rather it
is in you to share. Don't turn your back
on love every time it touches you, because when you give up on love you give up
(c) 2005-2013 Allie Ochs is a speaker, relationship coach and author
of: Are You Fit To Love? Her book has
received the honorable mention at the USA 2004 Best Book Awards. She has appeared on TV, Radio and is
published in numerous magazines and newsletters.
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